Sitting for your CBSE board exams is no less than entering a battlefield with no ammunition. From first to college, we have to sit for multiple competitive exams to prove our worth. However, exams are essential in every student’s life. We can learn how to cope with the fear of sitting for them and improve our preparation.
|Table of Contents|
|Why Students Fear Exams- the science behind it!|
|The importance of coping with fear before your exam|
|How to detect if your fear of exams is normal?|
|The Five Main Tips to Help You Prepare Better|
|Quick advice before entering the exam hall|
|Frequently Asked Questions|
Why Students Fear CBSE Class 10 & 12 Board Exam- The Science Behind It!
Each of us has faced sitting for a particular subject’s test leading to extreme stress. Many students turn into a bundle of sweat right before any vital exam or viva. The term given to the fear of exams is ‘examophobia’. Most students get affected by it at multiple levels, such as psychologically, emotionally, physically, cognitively, and socially. Scientists and educators, after years of extensive research, have come up with some leading causes of exam fear among students-
- Incomplete preparation- Many students do not prepare in advance for their exams and have to complete the CBSE syllabus the night before the exam date. This study method leads to half-baked preparation and makes them feel nervous.
- Low self-confidence- Kids start feeling pressure to appear in the exam and forget important points or methods. This pressure leads them to doubt their abilities and impacts their performance directly. They fear failure and start getting anxious.
- Fight or flight response- The adrenaline released by our bodies helps us seek to fight or flee in a stressful situation. In most cases, this adrenaline response is good and helps achieve results. However, it becomes excessive in some cases and makes it challenging for students to focus on the test.
It is highly crucial to overcome the fear of examinations. If a child is left to grapple with their examophobia, there is high chance of him developing some physical or mental illness. In addition, child psychologists have noted that several students suffer from low morale and fear of letting their parents down, thus leading to anxiety before any exam. The causes of exam stress remain combined and include different components, like poor study habits and a competitive school environment.
The Importance of Coping with Fear Before Your Exam
A little nervousness can help you achieve good results in CBSE Board exams by performing better. It can improve your mental alertness and make it easier for you to deal with challenges in the exam room, like- time scarcity, difficult or lengthy questions, etc. As per the Yerkes-Dodson Law, improved arousal levels can help people perform better but only up to a certain level, beyond which it can prove to be harmful to growth.
In some cases, this fear turns into anxiety, not allowing students to focus or concentrate while preparing for the exam or during the exam. Often known as test anxiety, examophobia quickly surfaces in many students.
Test anxiety is a psychological issue affecting millions of kids worldwide. Under this condition, students experience anxiety and stress at an extreme level. Therefore, test anxiety is a type of performance anxiety wherein a student fears underperforming and disappointing his parents or teachers.
Watch our visual story on CBSE Class 12 Maths Preparation Tips
Examples of performance anxiety in different social contexts-
- A tennis player becomes stressed before his national-level match. This stress overwhelms her to such a degree that she starts missing her shits, performs basic net errors, and underplays.
- Before a big presentation with a new client, a businessman forgets his important lines and fails to quote important figures and numbers due to anxiety.
- At a declamation competition, a class five student flounders forgets some lines and messes up several footings.
The Five Main Tips to Help You Prepare Better in CBSE Board Exams
What should be your strategy to overcome exam stress and boost confidence? Here are a few tips-
- Do Not Indulge in Negative Self-Talk- The moment you open your book, and you start thinking to yourself- “I will never complete the syllabus before the exam”, “I will fail tomorrow”, “I will disappoint everyone”, then you might deter your own pace of learning. Instead, try being your cheerleader and say things like- “I know my subject well”, “I will complete the syllabus”, and “I can do this”. Stop the negative talk in your head, and try to be optimistic.
- Take Care of Your Sleep Schedule- Getting adequate sleep is very important before sitting for any exam. A good sleep schedule helps improve concentration and allows some to recall chapters and topics efficiently. Alongside your sleep schedule, you should pay attention to your eating habits and eat healthily. You can also perform meditation and deep breathing exercises to help your mind declutter.
- Be Well-Prepared- Schedule your day a week before the exam. This way, you will have ample time to learn and revise than indulge in late-night cramming sessions. Once you start preparing early, you will gain confidence and reduce your anxiety levels quickly. Know when it is the easiest time for you to learn and understand topics- it can be early in the morning or late at night. You can also use sticky pads, notebooks, colorful stickers to mark important paragraphs or add additional information to any book.
- Don’t be too Harsh on Yourself- Avoid comparing yourself to your classmates, elder siblings, etc. Do not get into the perfectionist trap. Give your one hundred percent and be confident! Moreover, do not set unrealistic goals for yourself. Research suggests that a positive self-image and confidence increase motivation and effort. Therefore, students should never demotivate themselves. You can also set smart goals for yourself to prevent burnout. These questions will be divided into three categories- short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals.
- Learn to Prioritise- Divide your time wisely amongst different activities. Prepare a timetable and divide enough time to solve tests, revise previously completed lessons, and learn new topics. As students, you must learn how to establish learning goals and strategize the lesson at your convenience. Moreover, students should also leave out some time for feedback and reflection. You can seek input from your teachers or your classmates.
We all look up to our teachers as they play an essential role in our school and college life. Most of us are curious to know how our educators and seniors deal with exam-related stress and anxiety. Most teachers focus on habit-building and time management from a young age to banish exam anxiety. Studying smartly and efficiently will help us do better in exams.
Let us look at a few short tips which we can weave into our daily schedules to help manage exam stress a bit better-
- Make it a habit to learn and revise the lessons daily.
- Prepare a study plan
- Have faith in yourself.
- Do not leave anything for the last minute or day.
- Make concise notes and keep on referring to them while learning.
- Do not switch to cramming- focus on understanding and learning well.
- Follow a good healthy diet and sleep schedule.
- Seek your subject teacher’s help in case of doubts
- Set a goal and make it your duty to fulfill it.
- Minimize distractions.
Quick Advice Before Entering the Exam Hall
- Get up in time and have a hearty yet light breakfast. This will help you relax and prevent you from rushing through.
- Check your admit card, exam kit, etc.
- Reach the exam centre in time.
- Do not get involved in panicky discussions about a chapter or topic. They can get you worked up.
- Visit the lavatory before finally entering the exam hall.
- Do not forget to relax during the exam and take breathing breaks to calm your nerves.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How should I improve my focus while studying?
Follow the tips listed below to increase your concentration while looking-
- Create an environment conducive to studying and learning. Have a separate studying desk or area in your room that also has good lighting.
- Be clear about your learning goals. Before studying, list down the goals you want to achieve in the next hour. This will prevent you from getting distracted.
- Have a definite study schedule or timetable.
- Keep all distractions like- your mobile phone, games, and storybooks away.
2. How should I prepare well for any exam to reduce my anxiety?
You can adopt several techniques and practical methods to avoid trouble during the exam.
- Study regularly and have a schedule to follow.
- Indulge in physical exercises like running, basketball, etc., to help maintain a balance of mental, physical, and psychological health.
- Have a healthy diet.
- Make use of mnemonics. For example, you can use the mnemonic- My very excited mother just served us nine pies.” to learn the order of planets in the solar system.
3. How should parents help their kids deal with exam fear?
Parents have a huge role in managing their kid’s exam anxiety. If you are a parent, you can follow the tips below-
- Parents can help their kids prepare a timetable.
- As a parent, you can take care of their lifestyle and eating or sleeping habits.
- Talk to your child as a friend, discuss their fears/problems, and advise viable solutions.
- Do not compare them to others.
- Do not be a perfectionist and believe in your children.
4. How to improve my self-esteem before my exam?
You can help increase your self-confidence and esteem by following these tips-
- Do not cram before an exam.
- Always practice writing what you learn.
- Keep a positive approach.
- Talk to your parents and discuss important details from the chapters to help you learn.
Q5. What are the leading causes of exam stress?
The leading causes of exam stress are-
- Fear of failing or disappointing parents and guardians.
- Poor exam history or record.
- Too much pressure from adults- teachers, parents.
- Too much negative self-talk.
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